If you can have a pet in your home, and it’s something you’re excited to do, buying or, ideally, adopting a dog is extremely rewarding. Not only will they be company (particularly in need at the moment when we are unable to see loved ones in the way we would normally want to), but they can help you stay fit and healthy, and they can even teach children responsibility. There are dozens of reasons why getting a dog could work out well for you, but there are lots of things to consider before you do it, and preparing your home for your new arrival is crucial. Here are some things to think about.
Your Existing Pets
If you don’t have any other pets, then you won’t need to consider this (although if you intend to get more pets in the future, you might find it useful to know more about), but if you have another dog or a cat or similar at home, you will need to work out how you are going to introduce your new dog to them.
It will depend to a great extent on the personality of the animal you already have. If they are more easy-going and laid back, a new arrival might not faze them at all. If they are very territorial, perhaps because they are older and have been used to being the only animal in the household for a long time, it might be harder.
It’s best to get expert advice from a dog trainer about this, as you will want to get it right immediately to save any trauma for the animals or for you. Sometimes new dogs are given away or sent back to the shelter because owners can’t deal with the upset when their other pets meet them.
Does a dog need a lot of equipment? Compared to a fish or lizard, no; compared to a hamster or rabbit, yes. The important thing to think about is what equipment you feel will be necessary for your dog, and to have it in place before you bring him or her home.
If you want the dog to have free reign over the house, you might not think about getting a crate, but if you would prefer they were tucked away at night or when you were out of the house, a crate could be useful. If you intend to take them out in the car a lot, a dog car hammock might be useful for safety. At the very least, you will want food and water bowls, a leash, a bed, and plenty of toys for them to play with.
The idea of getting a dog might well be one that fills you and your family with excitement, but dog ownership is not always cheap, and you might find that you have to spend a lot of money when it comes down to it. From the purchase of the dog itself, to the vet’s bills and immunizations, to grooming, food, insurance, and more, there are always bills to pay that relate to your dog.
Are you sure you’re going to be able to continue to pay those bills in the future? If so, and if your home is ready, you can start to consider the dog itself. If you’re not sure then it might be best to wait; it’s the fairest thing to do for everyone.